At the beginning of the third album from London band Glass Animals, frontman Dave Bayley asks himself a series of questions about fundamental issues: identity, memory, love, friendship, the person you have been and the person you want to be. How do you answer so many questions that cut to the heart of who you are? Well, Bayley sings in the very last line, “You go make an album and call it Dreamland.”
“I’ve always hated the idea of writing about myself,” says Bayley, who is Glass Animals’ singer, songwriter and producer. On Dreamland, at last, he throws off that reluctance and takes the plunge. It’s a memoir in the form of a song cycle, inspired by sonic maestros from Brian Wilson to Timbaland, and it holds nothing back.
Dave Bayley, Ed Irwin-Singer (bass), Drew MacFarlane (guitar) and Joe Seaward (drums) released their first album, Zaba, in 2014, on Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone label. It was a modest debut (“We thought we’d go back to our jobs,” Bayley says) until the stealthily addictive Gooey became a platinum-certified viral streaming hit. They have since notched up over two billion streams, appeared on James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel, and toured the world to strikingly diverse audiences, from Glastonbury to Primavera and Red Rocks to Coachella. “The T-shirts you see in the front row are mad,” says Bayley. “You’ll see a Can T-shirt, a Justin Bieber T-shirt, a Korn T-shirt, a Grateful Dead T-shirt…”